Ch'an meditation and the Buddha within


Taking refuge within oneself is a manifestation of taking refuge in the three jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. We are all Buddhas, but we have not yet realized this. This realization is the goal of our practice. A first step is to realize that we all have a Buddha nature. This is the Buddha within us, our true identity, our Self. Thus, to take refuge in the Buddha is to take refuge in our Selves. This we learn from the practice of Ch'an. Our primary means of attaining this goal is our Ch'an meditation. This is our first lesson, of first and foremost importance. Thus the Ch'an student is taught and encouraged to set up a regular practice within his/her own home, one that fits into his/her daily life. He is encouraged to set up a sacred space within his home, where he is to practice daily. Meditation is a sort of home base or launching pad for deep-looking. Without regular meditation we cannot look deeply or see clearly into the nature of existence. The clarity and peace obtained in meditation follow us through the rest of our lives, forming the foundation for deep looking, transforming our very being.


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